Automotive News Update: A National Registry For Historic Automobiles?

Historic Automobiles

Today, the automotive industry performs an important role in the global economy. Motor vehicles have become embedded deeply within modern American culture. Yet automobiles did not exist just a few generations ago!

Since automakers produce and market new designs on an ongoing basis, the technology underlying cars, motorcycles and trucks has changed rapidly during the past 125 years. A growing number of hobbyists and investors enjoy repairing or recreating examples of classic car models from the past. Some collect and preserve older vehicles, many of them linked to famous figures or particular events of historic significance.

The Historic Vehicle Association

A privately funded organization called the Historic Vehicle Association works to document vehicles of interest to historians and museums. Founded in 2009 with the assistance of Hagerty Classic Cars, this interest group now includes over 375,000 members.

In March, 2013, the Historic Vehicle Association began a project in conjunction with the United States Department of the Interior (the federal agency responsible for administering the National Park System). The organization hopes to establish a formal body of research listing and documenting vehicles in the United States which hold historic importance. This archive consists of photos, personal accounts, films and other records. It could offer a valuable resource to history buffs and car enthusiasts alike. So far, the project has assembled very detailed information about 14 famous vehicles, including the first Chevrolet Camaro and the Marmon Wasp, the vehicle Ray Harroun used to win the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911.

Creating a National Registry of Historic Vehicles

Property owners in North Carolina and other states sometimes choose to register homes and architectural structures of historic significance in a National Register of Historic Buildings. A proposal to offer the same type of formal recognition to cars, trucks and motorcycles of historic significance by establishing a national registry of historic vehicles recently reached Congress.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Gary Peters of Michigan, would acknowledge the work of the Historic Vehicle Association and the Department of the Interior in establishing an historic vehicle archive. Vehicles would remain under private ownership, but their owners could choose to list them in the registry to furnish public information about automotive history. The legislation does not envision supplying any federal funding for the registry at this time.

An Illuminating Exhibition

Senator Peters, a Democrat, believes the proposal to create a national registry for historic vehicles will receive bipartisan support from members of Congress. He told a newspaper he considered the legislation this spring, when he visited a public display set up on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. by the Historic Vehicle Association. The exhibit showcased two presidential automobiles previously owned by President William Howard Taft and President Ronald Reagan.

The President of the Historic Vehicles Association noted the popular National Air and Space Museum promotes aviation and aerospace history. Extensive efforts have also preserved important buildings. Yet no comparable mechanism exists for celebrating automotive history as a culturally significant phenomenon. He believes the establishment of a national registry for historic vehicles would change that situation.

For those proud owners of classic or historic cars you’ll be happy to know that North Ridge Station in North Raleigh NC provides Ethanol free gasoline. The gasoline will actually breath new live into your engine and allow it to run the way the automotive engineers originally intended.

Contact Us

In the Raleigh, North Carolina area you can depend upon North Ridge Station to help keep your vehicle in smoothly running condition. Request maintenance or repair assistance by calling 919-876-2943.